Is wearable technology set to disrupt health care?

Is wearable technology set to disrupt health care?

According to Medical Daily, wearable technology was predicted to be the top fitness trend of 2016. But is wearable technology just a trend or does it have the potential to transform the medical industry? Are doctors the next sector to experience a major disruption at the hands of tech? Wearables are already making their mark in the tech world. Fitbits, or their counterparts, are being worn on one in every five Americans, and Apple has a Health app. Self monitoring is becoming more mainstream than ever before. This means just about anyone can become health obsessed while still being attached to their phones. This is already having a positive impact of overall health and productivity. Researchers at the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies found that there’s already been a 44% decrease in sick days for employees that were daily users of wearable technology. Wearables will provide valuable information to doctors Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, a top doctor in the UK, believes wearable technology will revolutionize the monitoring of patients’ health. Especially for those patients with a serious condition. He explained to The Guardian that wearables are now being actively used by doctors when dealing with patients. Technology has advanced so rapidly doctors are already seeing patients with a previous history of heart failure benefiting from using a wearable monitoring system. By using an unobtrusive sensor device, medical staff can remotely track a patient’s health and predict if they are at risk of slipping into heart failure again. This means a doctor can bring a patient in and begin treating them before the condition becomes serious. This is a brand...
Lucy Nourse of Little Letter Lights – A Xero and Shopify customer story

Lucy Nourse of Little Letter Lights – A Xero and Shopify customer story

Lucy Nourse never thought of herself as an entrepreneur. Her journey as a business owner started more out of necessity than anything else. She had two small children at home and was looking for a marquee-style light for their room that was suitable for small hands. “I was worried about having electricity around little fingers,” Lucy chuckles. After searching online, she couldn’t find a light she liked anywhere. She found big ones on Pinterest, but none that were appropriate for kids. “I searched everywhere on the Internet and finally said to my husband, ‘I think I can make one of these.’” Lucy’s lights started getting noticed through her social media pages. This initial exposure began to gain traction and soon, people were lining up left and right to buy a lamp from her. Lucy never had a background in business and didn’t know the first thing about starting one. What she did have was a growing demand for her lights – so much so, that she started to feel overwhelmed and began rethinking her entire business idea. “The business exploded before I was even able to prepare for it. I couldn’t keep up with the demand. I didn’t have the inventory that was being requested, and started getting a lot of negative comments from people. It made me question why I was even doing this,” says Lucy. Lucy came across Shopify while searching for a better way to run her business. “I actually closed the business down for a couple weeks, and thought I would give Shopify a try to see if it could help me manage my business better....
5 ways to overcome growing pains in your startup without getting bogged down in process

5 ways to overcome growing pains in your startup without getting bogged down in process

Tech startups are often taught to “move fast and break things”. But as a business expands it will inevitably face growing pains. Chat ops app Slack has been on an incredible growth trajectory. In just two years it has hit 2.3 million daily active users (20% joined in the last two months), and over 675,000 of them are paid users. To support that growth, its headcount grew from 80 to 385 employees in 14 months. It’s an expansion rate that has CEO Stewart Butterfield worried. Especially with the number of cautionary tales floating around the Valley at the moment. Rapid growth without the infrastructure in place to deal with the impact on compliance, human resources and the financial sides of the organization, can break a company. Before leading Xero in the US, I was running my own media agency. There was a point in time where we transitioned from handling a dozen smaller accounts to several accounts worth more than our entire client list combined. We had to aggressively scale the infrastructure to deal with these bigger clients. This involved streamlining and automating where we could, adding headcount and implementing administrative processes so the higher expectations of these clients could be realistically met. Growing operational models and having to adapt to those changes in real time are not only growing pains, they’re death shots to an organization and if not handled correctly, they can actually sink you. No matter your business size, every company goes through these stages. These pressures usually rear up just when you find yourself in way over your head, needing to execute. One of the big differences is...
6 things small business owners need to know in tech this week

6 things small business owners need to know in tech this week

1. Technology has divided retailers into two buckets: Those who are trying to find their place in an online world, and those born online who are attempting to figure out the offline market. This week we spoke to Shoes of Prey co-founder Jodie Fox about her journey to reach customers in both markets as she leverages tech to become a true omnichannel retailer. It’s a great weekend read. 2. There’s been plenty of discussions lately about how artificial intelligence can simplify our lives. This week Google showed how AI can make our search results better, even when you miss a couple of words in the search query. The advancement of tech like machine learning is creating a new wave of innovation for small business and eventually it will eliminate the majority of manual processing. 3. Small business security. As we live more of our personal and business lives online, the probability of suffering a security breach rises. For small business owners, there are a few things you can do now so when you get hit, it’s not the end of the world. The biggest risk is actually a human one, so by establishing a culture of security – not sharing passwords, changing them often and getting an expert to help create a plan, you can help avoid your IP falling into the wrong hands. More here. 4. Indulge us for a moment. This week the Xero US team released TaxTouch, an app specially designed for Freelancers and on-demand workers who file a Schedule C at tax time. Freelancing in America isn’t just a growing trend; it’s becoming the new...
Workplace bullies and how not to be one

Workplace bullies and how not to be one

The issue of bullying at school is well-known and reasonably well understood. But workplace bullying is just as big a problem. In the US, for example, 27% of employees have experienced bullying, and managers are the main cause. Wherever you find people who are driven, ambitious and strong-willed, there’s potential for bullying. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that some of the people reading this are workplace bullies. What is workplace bullying? The first problem is the word ‘bully’ itself. It conjures up images of a hulking schoolboy who wanders around the playground demanding lunch money and threatening to push smaller kids’ heads down the toilet. That’s the stereotype, and it endures because there’s some truth in it. School days can still be rough, and there’s no shortage of bullies even today. But the word ‘bully’ doesn’t translate well into the workplace. Nobody’s going to demand money with menaces. Nobody will push someone’s head down the toilet. Workplace bullying is more subtle, but no less damaging. It can appear in many different ways: being rude to employees, belittling them in meetings, ignoring their contribution to the business, making derogatory personal comments. Wikipedia has a comprehensive list. In brief, workplace bullying is anything that undermines someone’s self-esteem. You might be the problem You have a vision. You started your business with clear goals in mind. You are ambitious, driven and hard-working. You’re not just in it for the money. You’re reaching for the stars and striving for success in your field. Your staff aren’t like that. They are employees, which puts them in a different category. They may be great at...
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